5/26/2018

Metal Review: A Sound of Thunder - It Was Metal (Special Ed. 180 gm 2 LP Set Black/Orange Splatter)

Release Date: June 15, 2018
Label: Independent 
Website

I like having a history with an artist or band. This is the kind of relationship I have with A Sound of Thunder. I have always done my level best to cover their music and I go all the way back to the 2012 release Out of the Darkness. And here we are in 2018 and they are set to release another metal masterpiece. 

The band is Nina Osegueda (vocals, theremin), Josh Schwartz (guitars, keyboards), Jesse Keen (bass, keyboards) and Chris Haren   (drums, percussion).

The new album is titled It Was Metal. What is different this time is I have the 2 LP set in a limited run of black with an orange splatter in nice a tri-fold package. And yes, it looks very cool. And of course, the sound on vinyl is superb. And if you happen to a fan of comic books there is one that tells the story that is set to music. The comic book series by Bob Hall is what inspired this musical tribute.

It Was Metal is a story or concept if you. Call it what you like, it comes together with their own comic book and some incredibly good music. The music is Metal and much more. You will hear some prog, blues and few other unexpected things blaring through your speakers.

The opening track is “Phantom Flight (featuring Mark Tornillo)” and sets the tone for what there is ahead (more killer tracks). Then the curtain closer “Fortress of the Future Race,” is absolutely perfect. Keep in mind this is a story and that last track, which is one of the very best on the album, leaves the door open for a continuing saga…

This band pledges allegiance to no one and does not fit nicely into any box. Metal is a common thread that runs through their music however it ends up being a patchwork quilt with a lot thrown into the mix to make a very full and interesting listen. And who said you could not take Metal and bend and shape it into something more? A Sound of Thunder creates their own sound with a foundation of crunching guitars and a pounding rhythm section. The title certainly makes a statement however it means more than just a reference to the music because of the storyline, comic book, and artwork.

The one striking about this LP set is the artwork. The cover reminded of classic Dio and Judas Priest albums with all the demons rising from hell to destroy the earth. So, sharpen your blades and raise them up high to fight all you metal fans! It is all so much fun to put this whole thing together, hold it in your hand, and check out all the great pictures on the gatefold sleeves. It sure as hell beats a digital download but those are nice to have on your phone or iPod, I must admit. 

It Was Metal is complete musical experience as it was meant to be. You get a beautiful 180-gram splatter vinyl set, and then you can watch it spin around on your turntable. There is something mesmerizing about that, especially with colored vinyl of any kind.  As the music comes blaring out your speakers and fills the room you are in, you realize how much you have missed this kind of experience in the digital age.

So, what’s there not to like about this package? It is everything a true music fan could possibly ask for. And believe me, this band kicks some major ass and they play it all loud and proud just like any fan would expect. So, get this vinyl while you can and experience it all and feel the power of A Sound of Thunder. I think It Was Metal will inspire you to seek out more of this band’s catalog not to mention the classic metal albums you may not have heard in a while.


5/5 Stars

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
May 24, 2018

Founder of:

Review Provided By MuzikMan Reviews & News

Tracks:
Side A:
01. Phantom Flight (featuring Mark Tornillo)
02. Lifebringer
03. Atlacatl


Side B
 

04. The Crossroads Deal
05. It Was Metal
06. Obsidian & Gold (Desdinova Returns)


Side C:

07. Second Lives
08. Els Segadors (The Reapers)


Side D:
 

09. Tomyris
10. Charles II
11. Fortress of the Future Race


5/25/2018

Keyboard Legend Rick Wakeman Launches Official YouTube Channel


Legendary keyboardist Rick Wakeman is launching his official YouTube channel in June 2018! The channel will feature many rare and unreleased videos, as well as the exclusive premiere of Rick's forthcoming film “Live Portraits.”

Watch the promotional trailer: https://rick-wakeman.lnk.to/watch_trailer

“Would you believe I now have an official YouTube channel. If you fancy subscribing to it you're going to see lots of different things. Some things perhaps you've seen before...certainly a lot you've never seen before. There will be some exclusive stuff - exclusive purely to this channel. So please subscribe and see some of the silly things I get up to, and the musical stuff as well.” - Rick Wakeman

Check out Rick Wakeman's new YouTube channel: https://rick-wakeman.lnk.to/youtube
To subscribe to Rick Wakeman's new YouTube channel: https://rick-wakeman.lnk.to/subscribe

To celebrate the launch of Rick's official YouTube channel in style, subscribers are asked to vote for the top track they want to see from the film “Live Portraits” (track listing below). Voting can be made here on PledgeMusic https://artists.pledgemusic.com/projects/rick-wakeman-live-portraits/updates/97478

Once the votes have been counted, the ten most voted tracks will be posted exclusively on Rick's YouTube Channel for 48 hours. Fans should subscribe to Rick's official YouTube Channel to be notified when this event will take place. Click here to Subscribe https://rick-wakeman.lnk.to/subscribe

1. MORNING HAS BROKEN
2. AND YOU AND I
3. SUMMERTIME
4. SWAN LAKE
5. SPACE ODDITY
6. AFTER THE BALL
7. SWEET GEORGIA BROWN
8. HELP
9. AMAZING GRACE
10. WONDROUS STORIES
11. MERLIN THE MAGICIAN
12. LIFE ON MARS
13. ELEANOR RIGBY
14. CLAIR DE LUNE

In other news:

Following the hugely successful “Piano Portraits” tour last year, in support of the album of the same name, Rick Wakeman will return in Autumn 2018 with a new show based on the follow up release, entitled “Piano Odyssey.” The fourteen-date tour will feature even more classic tracks given Rick's unique piano treatment, and will travel to towns and cities not previously visited in 2017.

A live version of Rick's critically acclaimed album “Piano Portraits” was filmed & recorded at the Lincoln Cathedral in London on March 7th, 2018. “Live Portraits” will be released on CD/DVD soon. It can be ordered exclusively from Pledge Music by using the following link: https://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/rick-wakeman-live-portraits

For more information: http://www.rwcc.com

Gonzo Multimedia: http://www.gonzomultimedia.co.uk/

Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: 828-350-8158 (US), glassonyonpr@gmail.com

5/23/2018

Legendary French Violinist Jean Luc Ponty To Tour The US Summer 2018!


Los Angeles - Legendary French violinist Jean Luc Ponty and his band will be continuing their “Atlantic Years” tour in the US beginning August 2018! Jean Luc Ponty is a pioneer and undisputed master of the violin in the arena of jazz and rock. He is widely regarded as an innovator who has applied his unique visionary spin that has expanded the vocabulary of modern music.

Says Jean Luc, “We're calling it 'The Atlantic Years' tour since I am touring with my band from the late 70's - 80's with whom I recorded several albums for Atlantic Records, and we perform some classics from these early albums exclusively.”

The Jean Luc Ponty Band features:

Jean Luc Ponty – violin
Jamie Glaser – guitars
Keith Jones – bass
Rayford Griffin – drums
Wally Minko – keyboards

Jean Luc Ponty Band 2018 US tour dates:

8/13 - Chicago / The City Winery
8/14 - Chicago  / The City Winery
8/15 - Detroit / Chene Park
8/17 - Pittsburgh / Allegheny County South Park Bandshell
8/18 - Philadelphia / Keswick Theatre, Glenside PA
8/19 - Alexandria VA / The Birchmere Music Hall
8/21 - Annapolis MD / Rams Head
8/22 - Annapolis MD / Rams Head
8/23 - Newton NJ / Newton Theatre - Skylands PAC
8/24 - Beverly MA / Cabot Theatre
8/26 - Westbury, Long Island NY / The Space
8/28 - Albany, NY / The Egg
8/29 - Fairfield CT / The Warehouse
8/30 - New York City / Sony Hall Theatre

After studying classical violin at the Paris Conservatory, Jean Luc Ponty turned to jazz in the 60's. Thanks to his revolutionary style he collaborated with some of the best European and American musicians such as Eddy Louiss, Daniel Humair, Niels Henning-├śrsted Pedersen, John Lewis, Lalo Schifrin, and Quincy Jones. He became the first bebop violinist and US jazz magazine “Down Beat” created a violin category for him in its critics' poll, until then violin was in the 'miscellaneous instruments' category. His pioneering work on the electric violin in the 70's attracted the attention of pop and rock musicians, he recorded with Elton John and participated to several tours and legendary recordings with Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention and John McLaughlin's Mahavishnu Orchestra. In 1975 he founded his own band and became one of the most prominent figures of the jazz-fusion movement in the USA, selling millions of albums that all reached the top of the US charts. Ponty's most recent album “The Atacama Experience” is considered as one if his best and to this day Ponty keeps touring with his band around the world.

Ponty also collaborates on occasional projects such as “The Rite of Strings” with Stanley Clarke and Al Di Meola. In 2011 Ponty joined the mythical American group RETURN TO FOREVER IV with Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke, Lenny White and Frank Gambale for a world tour spanning on 5 continents.

Ponty received the 2007 Jazz Trophy in Germany, the medal of Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur in France in 2009, the 2011 Lifetime Achievement Awards in Ireland, and the Grand Prix of the Sochi Arts Festival in 2012 in Russia from the hands of world famous classical violist and orchestra conductor Yuri Bashmet. In 2012 Ponty performed his music with Orchestre Pasdeloup for his 50-year career celebration at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris, then again with symphony orchestras in Brazil, Russia and Hungary in 2012 and 2013.

In April 2013 Herbie Hancock invited him to perform in Istanbul at “International Jazz Day” for UNESCO. Ponty also founded a new quartet with his daughter, pianist-singer-composer Clara Ponty which performed in France and Germany in 2014. Ponty also performed with the 89 musicians of the Novosibirsk Philharmonic Orcherstra for the Siberian Christmas Festival.

In 2014 Ponty recorded an album as an acoustic trio with Stanley Clarke on double bass and Gypsy-French guitarist Bireli Lagrene, which was released on Impulse/Universal in the Fall 2015.

Jean Luc recently formed the Anderson Ponty Band with Jon Anderson, co-founder and lead singer of British progressive rock band YES, a CD and DVD was released in 2015 followed by a North American concert tour.



The Band:

Jamie Glaser (guitar) is best known as the guitarist for grammy award winning musical acts, Jean Luc Ponty, Chick Corea, Bryan Adams, Gloria Trevi, Manhattan Transfer and more. His guitar can be heard on over 170 albums as well as on the biggest sitcoms of all time, Seinfeld and Married With Children. Jamie compositions can be heard weekly on CBS sports, ABC, Animal Planet, History channel, Discovery, and ESPN. His solo albums have been successful worldwide.

Keith Jones (bassist) has worked with many well known music artists such as Joe Sample, The Crusaders, Al Jarreau, Jean Luc Ponty, Carlos Santana, Andy Narell, Wayne Shorter, Kenny Loggins, Mark Isham and many more. His distinctive bass lines can be heard on hundreds of recordings.

Rayford Griffin (drums) has been internationally respected as among the most inventive, volcanic and versatile drummers in music, having amassed stellar credits with virtuosos ranging from Jean Luc Ponty and The Stanley Clarke Band, George Duke, to Dave Koz, Anita Baker and Michael Jackson.

Wally Minko (keyboards) is a well respected and highly accomplished member of the LA music scene and has toured and recorded with some of the most well known and successful artists in the world! Some of the artists Wally has worked with include Toni Braxton, Pink, En Vogue, New Edition, Barry Manilow, Tom Jones, Arturo Sandoval, Gregg Rolie (Santana/Journey), Eddie Money and the Anderson Ponty Band, featuring legendary Yes vocalist, Jon Anderson and world renowned jazz violinist, Jean Luc Ponty.

For more information:
www.ponty.com
www.facebook.com/jeanlucpontyband

Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: 828-350-8158, glassonyonpr@gmail.com

5/21/2018

Sixties Psychedelic-Rock Legends The Chocolate Watchband Release Two New "Far Out" Singles


San Jose, CA - When discussing legendary psychedelic garage bands of the 1960s, the Chocolate Watchband is at the top of the list. The Chocolate Watchband formed in San Jose in 1965. The band's music was described as “a blend of 1960s-style garage and psychedelic rock with a distinguishable 'Rolling Stones'  San Francisco sound. Produced by Ed Cobb, the group's early music combined the influences of blues with a psychedelic edge that featured terse lyrics and  instrumental experimentation. The Chocolate Watchband appeared in the 1967 film “Riot On Sunset Strip” and the 1968 film “The Love Ins.” The band released three highly acclaimed LPs from 1967 to 1969 before disbanding in 1970. In 1999, they reunited at the San Diego event 66/99 in San Diego, CA,  organized by musician/journalist Mike Stax. They continue to play today at garage rock festivals in Europe as well as the States with Little Steven, The Yardbirds, Love, The Zombies, Bo Diddly, Iggy Pop, the Strawberry Alarm Clock and the Electric Prunes.

Now much to the excitement of the band's fans around the globe, the Chocolate Watchband are releasing two new singles destined to be classics! - “Judgment Day” and  “Secret Rendezvous”! The tracks were recorded in 2017 at Kingdom Voice Productions, Santa Clara, CA.



Says lead vocalist and founding member David Aguilar, “I wrote 'Judgment Day' as the country was still in recovery after every dollar you might have had invested suddenly tanked thanks to Wall Street. People were getting laid off, they were moving backwards in income, homes were being foreclosed on. Families were living in their cars. It was a terrible time for the American dream. But this was pure opportunity for those who enjoyed stratospheric wealth. Wall Street gangsters, bailed out by American taxpayers, were rewarded for their massive greed and stupidity. They immediately started buying up everything they could, hotels, new corporate jets, restaurants chains, radio stations, small businesses, big businesses, casinos, 300+ acre ranches with 16,000 square foot homes in compounds near Aspen, on Long Island, or in Florida. Their trophy wives were pampered like pet poodles….

“It resulted in the anger that put the current president into the White House. And it's ironic, Judgment Day didn't come for the political party that remains the mouthpiece for the fat cats. And now the White House is filled with more Wall Streeters! The Who were wrong, Americans can get fooled again!



“'Secret Rendezvous' changed names a few times, lyrics were quick and fast, the whole song came from the opening riff…I recorded it in about 40 minutes. I like songs like this-they write themselves as you track it. I recorded drums and guitar together, added bass, horns, cowbell, (yeah say it-“more cowbell”) and vocals. When the band got a hold of it, they ripped it! I can't wait to sing this song on stage!”

Watch the band's new live video “I'm Not Like Everybody Else” (the Acid Test 5/7/16): 


The Chocolate Watchband:
David Aguilar - Lead Vocals, harmonica, percussion, keyboards, acoustic and electric guitars
Gary Andrijasivich- Drums, backing vocals, percussion
Tim Abbott- Lead guitar, sitar, backing vocals
Derek See- Guitars, backing vocals
Alec Palao- Bass

Tim Abbott- Engineer/ co-producer,
Ross Peterson- Mix Engineer/ co-producer
Joey White- Mastering Engineer.

To purchase “Judgement Day” single: 
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/judgement-day-single/1384988843
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07D3GJN8Y

To purchase “Secret Rendezvous” single: 
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/secret-rendezvous-single/1385018605
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07D3GDT1F

Spotify:
“Judgement Day”: https://open.spotify.com/album/5eMrgSJN4Eapy8DZsmbd40
“Secret Rendezvous”: https://open.spotify.com/album/3v7ZALFFucwVrzEp6g3UOC

For more information:
The Chocolate Watchband official band website: http://www.thechocolatewatchband.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chocolatewatchband/

Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: 828-350-8158, glassonyonpr@gmail.com

5/19/2018

Instrumental Ambient Review: Jon Durant-Parting Is

Release Date: January 18, 2018
Label: Alchemy Records

When I heard the name Jon Durant it made me think, I know that name. I also felt like I had heard a similar sound somewhere. That is quite likely however as it turns out when I had the muzikreviews.com site running, one of my staff covered the Colin Edwin and Jon Durant release Burnt Belief. That was in December 2012.

What I really can appreciate in the music industry is artists helping artists. That is exactly what Jon does on his own Alchemy Records. Who understands a musician more than one of their own? Today this is commonplace and it should have happened eons ago. With that being said, Jon knows how to create some of his own significant pieces of music as well.

Parting Is (such sweet sorrow?) the latest release by Jon. It came out in the middle of January 2018. He uses no synths on this recording (you could have fooled me), which I found quite astounding. 

Jon uses a broad selection of PRS (Paul Reed Smith) guitars which includes an electric 12 string, cloud guitar, Koll Tornado fretless guitar, Klein electric guitar, and the Spector Fretless bass. With this amazing array of electrified guitars, the talented Mr. Durant takes guitar-based music to another place. It is like taking a journey into unchartered waters or space beyond our own galaxy. As this artist explores these new soundscapes you will find yourself wondering how this was all this was accomplished on Parting Is. I believe the cloud guitars are the instruments that create the synth sounds, that just makes sense to me.

When you look at the cover art of this recording you wonder what Jon is trying to convey. I think most artists are sending a message with the cover art although some just like using certain colors or a fancy image they saw. As simplistic as this image seems it does tell a story, a developing story. I see peacefulness that has an impending change, the calm before the storm? Parting Is what? Perhaps parting from the serene colors that the picture shows and the grey (area?) clouds signaling that the rain is coming or a violent storm. But there is light shining through the darkness which gives you hope. Is this a reflection of life itself? We can see things are looking terribly dreary then suddenly a light comes shining through to cast out the darkness and bring things back into focus. This my own personal musical hypothesis, surely everyone would have their own.

I really enjoy the process that an artist can present with art and music. The music on this nine-track CD is beautiful, elegant, haunting, and most importantly, full of musical emotion and colorful imagery. This music lives and breathes and tells the story, but the best part is it can be your story, just look a little further, inside the music…

4/5 Stars

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
May. 18, 2018

Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

Tracks: 
01. Clouds in Advance
02. Open Window
03. Travels Within
04. The Room Where She Waits
05. Before the Rain Falls
06. Evolve in Place
07. Ecliptic Shadows
08. Returning to the Departure   
09. Willamette Fog


Ads Inside Post